Readers discuss Sept. 11, death of Osama Bin Laden

Instead of my regular Monday Briefing, I figured it would be much more interesting and informative to jump-start a local discussion on the death of Osama Bin Laden.

I received a text from a friend at 10:48 p.m. Sunday night informing me of the news. Since I was watching a DVR-recorded show, I failed to catch any ticker or news breaks announcements. After flipping to CNN, I quickly texted friends and family.

My wife, who lost her favorite uncle in the World Trade Center attacks, welled up as she sat on the couch and watched varying images of her uncle’s murderer on TV. One of her uncle’s three children, Sue’s cousin Todd, is getting married in Florida in a few weeks. We immediately thought of him.

My wife then called my dad, an FDNY battalion chief who retired two months before Sept. 11. After the attacks, he — and a handful of other retired chiefs — had the task of putting on a suit and making house calls to inform family members whenever a firefighter’s remains were identified.

He lost dozens of friends that day, too, so we were happy to be the ones who called him to tell him the welcomed news.

Despite the wellspring of painful memories, the mood was good in my house Sunday night. It was both touching and encouraging to witness those kids from The George Washington University, middle schoolers at the time of the attacks, celebrate and chant and wave flags in front of the White House.

How did our readers learn the news Sunday or this morning? What were your thoughts and emotions? If you have a moment, tell us how the actions of Osama Bin Laden, now buried at sea, have affected your lives here in Riverhead over the last decade.

And lastly, what do you think this means for the war on terror?